The Italian government has announced plans to provide subsidies of up to €200 on the purchase of new television sets that feature a digital tuner. It follows recent clearance received from the European Commission amid a struggle by the Italian government to gain parliamentary approval for the measures. Opposition amendments have come from across the political spectrum, including Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, and the legislation is still to reach the upper house.
Legislation is required before the subsidies can be put in place and it is hoped that the law will be passed ahead of the start of the football season in September when sales of new TV traditionally rise. Some five million Italians change their TV sets each year.
Also included in the legislation are caps on the market shares derived from spectrum, audiences and advertising receipts. The bill is aimed at promoting competition after digital switchover is completed in 2012.